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June 09, 2023

Positive, Inclusive Angels Earn AHA’s Kindness Award

 Academy of the Holy Angels students Natalia Ruiz (’24) of Fairview and Martine Alvarez (’26) of Chestnut Ridge, New York, have received the Sister Catherine Green Kindness Award for promoting kindness, positivity, and inclusivity.


AHA honored these students for carrying on the nurturing spirit S. Catherine, a School Sister of Notre Dame, demonstrated during her years as an AHA religious studies teacher (1982-2014). S. Catherine is remembered as an attentive listener who often expressed warm words of support and encouragement to others. Faculty, staff, and students submit Kindness Award nominations to AHA Dean of Students Andréa Beyer. Honorees are announced at the end of each quarter.


Natalia Ruiz’s friends describe her as kind, funny, positive, and encouraging person.


“Her easygoing nature always makes me feel calm,” a friend said.


Another person shared, “She never tries to be somebody that she isn’t. She is humble, good-natured, and thoughtful. She brightens my day with her sense of humor and her smile.”


Ruiz is known for going out of her way to ensure everyone feels included. Friends said the same of Martine Alvarez, who exhibits the type of kindness that draws people together.


“She always makes sure everyone feels included and is always willing to help her friends by encouraging them or by sharing a laugh when they feel upset,” a friend said of Alvarez.


This ninth grader is also known for her encouraging attitude and ready smile.


“She is kind and loving,” a peer wrote. “She is always there to help me whenever I am in need and she is one of the most reliable people I know.”
Founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1879, the Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private girls’ school in Bergen County. While AHA is steeped in Catholic tradition, this prestigious school serves young women from a broad spectrum of cultural and religious backgrounds. Over time, thousands of women have passed through AHA’s portals. Many go on to study at some of the nation’s best universities, earning high-ranking positions in medicine, government, law, education, public service, business, arts, and athletics. The Academy’s current leaders continue to further the SSND mission to provide each student with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially, and physically, by offering a first-rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity, and service to others.